National Compendium of Laws, Policies, Programmes for Persons with Disabilities
Cover image of the National Compendium of Laws, Policies and Programmes for Persons with Disabilities
This compendium was compiled by the Centre for Internet & Society in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Department of Disability Affairs, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India. Prasanna Kumar Pincha, Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, has written the Foreword.
India, one of the longest continuous civilizations in the world is also home to one of the largest populations of persons with disabilities. According to the 2011 census, around 2.21% of its population or around 26.8 million people have disabilities of some form or the other. While the country is developing rapidly, persons with disabilities are often left out of the process. Sometimes they are completely neglected from consideration and measures do not take into account their needs by virtue of being non inclusive. On other occasions, there may be special measures for some disadvantaged groups, but persons with disabilities may not be recognised as a separate group, with distinctive needs.
Overall, there is a clichéd understanding about the needs and abilities of persons with disabilities, limiting efforts made towards their progress. Even in cases where some effort has been made, information about these measures is not available to persons with disabilities and their family members, who are consequently unable to avail of them. Additionally, the insensitivity of rules/ schemes/ procedures/ persons makes it difficult for persons with disabilities to benefit from them. However, regardless of the reason, the fact remains that there is a huge gap in the communication of information from policy makers, administrators and law makers to persons with disabilities as well as their family members, organisations and other concerned groups and institutions.
It is extremely important to bridge this information gap in order to enable persons with disabilities to participate equally in development. Better access to information will enable them to avail of schemes/provisions for their benefit and will consequently enable governments to assess whether they have made adequate provision in various domains as well as identify gaps which need to be addressed.
Finally, accessibility of information will also facilitate the participation of government and persons with disabilities in implementation of measures and increase transparency and accountability
With this aim in mind, The Hans Foundation decided to engage with Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) to put together a comprehensive resource on disability related policies across India. It gives us great pleasure to publish this resource and we hope that it be of great help to the community.
Ms. Sweta Rawat
The Hans Foundation
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